After a video was released showing Japanese Journalist beheaded, the second captive to meet the same fate by Islamic State militants, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed revenge, promising that the terrorists would be forced to pay for their horrific deed.
Although many countries have made the same promise, in confrontation averse Japan this is a bold and unusual move. Following Haruna Yukawa and now Kenji Goto’s death, Japan is speaking out. So far, Western style expression about ISIS has not been seen in Japan so now the question is will the country back up his promise.
With this new killing, officials around the globe are looking at ISIS as being far more dangerous than imagined, especially reaching into Japan, a country that is both peaceful and extremely prosperous. In fact, until these latest terrorist attacks, Japan has been immune to the type and level of violence that the US and its allies have faced.
According to a former ranking diplomat from Japan and advisor to Abe, for Japan, the killing of two innocent Japanese men is like that country’s 09/11. He added that his country needs to stop thinking that noble intensions and good will are enough to prevent ISIS from reaching it. Along with the United States, Britain, and France, now Japan is being impacted.
The beheadings come at a critical time in the modern day history of Japan. Abe became Prime Minister just two years ago and as a strong-willed conservative, has taken much of a passive approach similar to that following WWII. These terrorist attacks will be a true test for Japan and will dictate the way the situation is handled.
One thing in particular that has Abe upset is that not only were two Japanese men brutally killed, the masked ISIS militant on both videos said the Japanese people are not safe anywhere, regardless of where in the world they are located. In his exact words as Goto was beheaded, the man said “Let the nightmare for Japan begin”.
As imagined, Japan is both angry and sad. To many analysts in that country, the beheadings made no sense, especially since Japan was not even involved with the bombing campaign led by the US yet their citizens are being taken captive and murdered. Following Goto’s killing the Japanese people are taking the Islamic State threats seriously and agree to support Abe’s efforts in battling this group.
Ready to adapt to their new reality and with talks already underway, Ichiro Fujisaki, former Ambassador to the US from Japan said that there is no sign the people of Japan will back down. He added that the extent to which the people are standing with the US against ISIS is actually surprising.